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Shepherd School Season Four (PAST/FUTURE)

training men to shepherd in the home, group, and church

WHY SHEPHERD SCHOOL? 2 Timothy 2 1-6

August 29, 2022 • Brett Baggett • 2 Timothy 2:1–6

Big idea: Why are we doing Shepherd School? I. We are doing Shepherd School so that you would be strengthened by grace (v. 1) II. We are doing Shepherd School so that you would be taught the truth (v. 2a) III. We are doing Shepherd School so that you would be equipped to teach others (v. 2b) IV. We are doing Shepherd School so that you would be a good soldier of Jesus Christ (v. 3) V. We are doing Shepherd School so that you would please your King (v. 4) VI. We are doing Shepherd School so that you would live your life according to the the rules and so be rewarded (v. 5) VII. We are doing Shepherd School so that you would exhaust yourselves in planting and watering, and therefore most enjoy the fruit that God grows (v. 6)

THE COVENANT OF GRACE PREACHED TO ADAM: Genesis 3:15

September 5, 2022 • Brett Baggett • Genesis 3:15

DOCTRINE: The promise in Genesis 3:15 reveals the mercy of God, the object of the Church’s faith from Adam to Abraham, the gospel in seed form, and Christ’s ultimate victory over Satan. I. THE PROMISE IN GENESIS 3:15 REVEALS THE MERCY OF GOD; AS SOON AS MANKIND FELL INTO SIN, THE LORD STARTED PREACHING THE GOSPEL. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring (seed) and her offspring (seed); he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15). Years later, Habakkuk’s prayer would be, “In wrath remember mercy” (Hab. 3:2). The LORD did here in the garden. Matthew Henry said, “Here was the dawning of the gospel day. No sooner was the wound given than the remedy was provided and revealed.” See the loving-kindness of the Lord toward his people! When we deserve the hammer of the Law, He brings the pillow of the Gospel. When we beg for the judgement of Divine Justice by our sin, He gives us the medicine of Divine Gospel. I) Use this truth to guide you concerning how to respond when others sin. Remember Genesis 3:15 when your kids sin. Say to them, “You need a Savior and you have one!” Remember Genesis 3:15 when your wife sins. Say to her, “Look at the Lord in Genesis 3:15 responding to Eve eating the forbidden fruit.” Remember Genesis 3:15 when your neighbor sins, especially against you. Say to them, “Look at the Lord responding to Adam who plunged the world into misery by his sin.” II) Use this truth to guide you concerning how to respond when you sin. Say to yourself, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15). II. THE PROMISE IN GENESIS 3:15 REVEALS THE OBJECT OF THE CHURCH’S FAITH FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM (Genesis 3:15). God has never left His people, in any age, without the gospel of Jesus Christ! Thomas Manton preached, “The words are dark in comparison of the larger explications of the grace of God by Jesus Christ which were after delivered to the church. Who would look for a great tree in a little seed? Yet the seminal virtue doth afterward diffuse and dilate itself into all those stately and lofty branches in which the fowls of the air do take up their lodging and shelter. So do these few words contain all the articles and mysteries of the christian faith, which are the fountains of our solid peace and consolation. In the seed of the woman is contained all the doctrine concerning the incarnation of the Son of God ; in the bruising of his heel, his death and sufferings ; in the crushing of the serpent's head, his glorious victory and conquest. As obscure as the words are, an eagle-eyed and discerning faith could pick a great deal of comfort out of them. ‘The elders,' mentioned Heb. 11:2, the antediluvian fathers, so famous throughout all ages for their faith and confidence in God, had no other gospel to live upon. Abel, that offered a better sacrifice than Cain; Enoch, that walked with God; Noah, that prepared the ark, did all that they did in the strength and upon the encouragement of this promise.” III. THE PROMISE OF GENESIS 3:15 REVEALS THE GOSPEL IN SEED FORM (Genesis 3:15). Ezekiel Hopkins wrote, “That primitive promise (Gen. 3:15), that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, which lay for many ages under types and figures, at the birth of Christ broke forth into accomplishment. All those prophecies, all those ceremonial resemblances, which, containing a Saviour in embryo, were in due time matured by the Holy Ghost, until the truth of God gave them all their expected issue in Christ's birth.” I) Genesis 3:15 reveals the seed form of the incarnation of Christ to redeem fallen man as our representative. The seed is “her offspring,” not his; not Adam’s. Christ took upon himself our nature, to redeem us as our perfect covenant head! “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Heb. 2:14-15). II) Genesis 3:15 reveals the seed form of the redemption of Christ purchased by his death. The serpent is told, “you shall bruise his heel.” This is the seed form of the message of Christ crucified. III) Genesis 3:15 reveals the conquest of Christ crushing the head of the serpent, Satan by resurrection, ascension, return. The serpent is told that the seed of the woman “shall bruise your head.” This is the embryo of that promise which says, “He shall reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Cor. 15:26) and “the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10). IV. THE PROMISE OF GENESIS 3:15 REVEALS CHRIST’S ULTIMATE VICTORY OVER SATAN, HIS CONFEDERATES, AND THE WICKEDNESS THAT SPRINGS FROM THEIR SCHEMES (Genesis 3:15). That the serpent is Satan himself is evident from when John calls him “that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). Furthermore, that those who are not united to Christ by faith are Satan’s confederates or “seed” is evident from John 8:44 and Acts 13:10. “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires” (John 8:44). Paul says to Elymas, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?” (Acts 13:10). But now our focus will primarily be on Christ’s crushing or bruising the head of Satan. I love what Matthew Henry said concerning Christ’s bruising the serpents head: “Christ baffled Satan's temptations, rescued souls out of his hands, cast him out of the bodies of people, dispossessed the strong man armed, and divided his spoil: by his death, he gave a fatal and incurable blow to the devil's kingdom, a wound to the head of this beast, that can never be healed. As his gospel gets ground, Satan falls (Luke 10:18) and is bound (Rev. 20:2). By his grace, he treads Satan under his people's feet (Rom. 16:20) and will shortly cast him into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). And the devil's perpetual overthrow will be the complete and everlasting joy and glory of the chosen remnant.” Now consider Christ’s serpent-crushing work in these particular points: I) Satan is an Oppressor, so Christ came to crush his head by healing His people from demonic oppression. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). ‘Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). II) Satan is a Liar and Deceiver, so Christ came to crush his head by being the Truth (John 8:44c; Rev. 12:9). “[Satan] does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44c). “The deceiver of the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). Just as there is no truth in Satan, so there are no lies in Christ. He is full of truth! “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). III) Satan is a Captor, so Christ came to crush his head by binding him and plundering his house. (i) Those who are still enemies of God are in the snare of the devil, being captured by him to do his will. “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” (2 Tim. 2:25-26). (ii) Christ came into the world to establish the Kingdom of God by binding Satan and plundering his house. “If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil” (Luke 11:20-22). “But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house” (Mark 3:27). (iii) Christ destroys the kingdom of Satan and advances the Kingdom of grace through the preaching of the gospel, as is exemplified in the sending out of the seventy-two. “The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!’ And he said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you’” (Luke 10:17-19). IV) Satan is a Tempter, so Christ came to crush his head by breaking the power of sin over His people and providing them a way of escape when tempted. “And the tempter came and said to [Christ],” etc (Matt. 4:3). (i) Christ sets his people free from slavery to sin. “Having been set free from sin, [you] have become slaves of righteousness” (Rom. 6:18). (ii) God always gives a way of escape when believers are tempted. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13). (iii) One of the works Christ came into the world to destroy was the habitual practice of sinning now. “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). (iv) In believers’ glorification Christ will destroy even the possibility of sinning, and that truth spurs us on to live holy lives even now. “When [Christ] appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). V) Satan is a Devourer, so Christ came to crush his head by being a tender hearted Advocate who binds up the broken hearted. “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). (I) Satan loves to sift people like wheat, by tempting them to despair after they have sinned. “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32). Can Satan succeed in sifting when Christ is engaged in praying? Can your faith fail while Christ intercedes for you? (II) Christ loves to bind up the broken hearted, never crushing the bruised reed or quenching the smoking flax. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1). “A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice” (Is. 42:3). VI) Satan is an Accuser, so Christ came to crush his head by dying and rising in order to intercede for His people. “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him” (Zech. 3:1). “Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (Rom. 8:33-34). VII) Satan is a Murderer, so Christ came to crush his head by giving life and life abundant. “He was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Christ came to give us life by giving up his life in our place! “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Now, Christ will finally and totally crush the head of the serpent one day, when Revelation 20:9-10 comes to pass: “And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” EXHORATION I) You and have to resist Satan by humble dependance on God (James 4:6-7).“‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” II) You and I must stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” III) You and I must be sober-minded and watchful because Satan prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8-9). “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” CONCLUSION: As we wage spiritual war, you and I need to remember and rest in Romans 16:20: “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”

THE COVENANT OF GRACE PREACHED TO ABRAHAM: Genesis 15:1-6

September 12, 2022 • Brett Baggett • Genesis 15:1–6

THE ONCE FOR ALL SACRIFICE: Hebrews 10:1-13

September 19, 2022 • Brandon Allen • Hebrews 10:1–13

CHRIST THE SURETY: Hebrews 6:13-20

September 26, 2022 • Nate Yarbrough • Hebrews 6:13–20

HEBREWS 6:13-20 "For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."

OLD TESTAMENT BELIEVERS: Romans 3:21-26

October 3, 2022 • Brett Baggett • Romans 3:21–26

DOCTRINE. Old Testament believers had the gospel preached to them in the Law and the Prophets; they knew they were sinners in themselves with no hope but God’s promised Savior; they were justified by the grace of God in Christ; and they were forgiven by means of the propitiation of Christ. I. OLD TESTAMENT BELIEVERS HAD THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD THROUGH FAITH PREACHED TO THEM IN THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS, BUT THE FULL MANIFESTATION OF IT IS REVEALED IN CHRIST (Romans 3:21-22a). “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” Matthew Henry commented, “Yet it witness by the Law and the Prophets; that is, there were types, and prophecies, and promises, in the Old Testament, that pointed at this. The law is so far from justifying us that is directions to another way of justification, points at Christ as our righteousness, to whom bear all the prophets witness.” II. OLD TESTAMENT BELIEVERS KNEW THEY WERE SINNERS IN THEMSELVES, UNABLE TO BE RECONCILED TO GOD BY THEIR WORKS (Romans 3:22b-23). “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In Romans 3:10-19, where Paul draws out the truth of total depravity from various Old Testament passages. Old Testament believers knew they were sinners in need of sovereign grace. III. OLD TESTAMENT BELIEVERS WERE JUSTIFIED BY GOD’S GRACE AS A GIFT, AS THEY LOOKED TO CHRIST IN FAITH, AND THE PROPITIATION BY HIS BLOOD, THROUGH THE SHADOWS; NEW TESTAMENT BELIEVERS ARE JUSTIFIED BY GOD’S GRACE AS A GIFT, AS WE LOOK TO CHRIST IN FAITH, AND THE PROPITIATION BY HIS BLOOD, AT THE BODY (Romans 3:24-25a). “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” Matthew Henry wrote, “Jesus is all in all in our reconciliation, not only the maker, but the matter of it—our priest, our sacrifice, our altar, our all. God was in Christ as in his mercy-seat, reconciling the world to himself.” IV. OLD TESTAMENT BELIEVERS WERE FORGIVEN OF THEIR SINS BECAUSE OF WHAT CHRIST WOULD DO; NEW TESTAMENT BELIEVERS ARE FORGIVEN BECAUSE OF WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE (Romans 3:25b). “This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” CONCLUDING QUESTIONS. Do you see the righteousness of God through faith born witness to in the Law and the Prophets? Do you see the righteousness of God perfectly manifested in Jesus Christ? Do you see that there is no distinction; that you have sinned and fall short of the glory of God? Do you see justification by God’s grace given to the Old Testament believers, as they looked through the shadows to Christ (Lev. 16)? Do you see the substance, the very body, Christ Jesus Himself who cast the shadows, who made propitiation for a sinner like you? Did he make propitiation by his blood for you? Then what grace God has given you, and will never take it away! Do you see God’s manifest righteousness, having forgiven Old Testament believers by what would happen to Christ, and New Testament believers because of what has happened to Christ? Oh that we would sit at the feet of Christ’s cross and wonder at this glorious gospel. God has made a way to be both just and the justifier. He can receive you into His love without compromising His justice. This is glory that you can never exhaust. These are things into which the angels long to look. Look! Look at Christ! Cling to Christ! Celebrate Christ! Preach Christ! Glory in Christ!

LEARNING FROM OLD TESTAMENT BELIEVERS AND LOOKING TO CHRIST Hebrews 11 1 12 2

October 10, 2022 • Brett Baggett • Hebrews 11—12

INTRODUCTION. Having made many discoveries and clarifications concerning how God saved His people during the times of the Old Testament, I think we should now do what the apostle to the Hebrews does once he had done the same. In Chapters 11 and 12 of Hebrews, the apostle holds up before his readers’ eyes some great examples of Old Testament believers who lived by faith, and then he directs our gaze firmly toward Christ. He does both of these things in Hebrews chapter’s 11 and 12 in order to exhort us to patiently run the race of the life of faith for God’s glory and our good. DOCTRINE. Believers should learn from Old Testament saints, and they must look to Christ in faith, in order to run the race of the life of faith with patient endurance. I. YOU AND I SHOULD LEARN FROM OLD TESTAMENT BELIEVERS SO THAT WE MAY PATIENTLY RUN THE RACE OF THE LIFE OF FAITH (Hebrews 11:1–12:1). John Owen helpfully clarifies the meaning of faith as it is used in Chapter 11, when he writes, “The nature of justifying faith…is not here at all spoken unto. For the apostle treats not in this place of justification, or of faith as justifying, or of its interest in justification; but of its efficacy and operation in them that are justified, with respect unto constancy and perseverance in their profession, notwithstanding the difficulties which they have to conflict withal. . . . Faith can do all things that belong unto the life of God; and without it nothing can be done. Spiritual life is by faith (Gal. 2:20); victory is by faith (1 John 5:4); perseverance is by faith (1 Pet. 1:5); salvation is by faith (Eph. 2:8, 1 Pet. 1:9): and so they were from the beginning.” Read Chapter 11 in Hebrews before examining the specific exhortations of Hebrews 12:1-2. Here is the bridge between Chapter’s 11 and 12. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1a). “We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,” either as witnessing our lives, as the crowds would do as athletes competed in the great games, or as bearing witness to us what lives of faith look like, or both. I think it is the latter. We have these examples before our eyes to spur us on to live lives of faith here and now. Yet both views are permissible. Now Chapter 12 gives the application concerning the instruction we received in Chapter 11. John Owen rightfully remarks, “Chapter 12 contains an application of the doctrine, declared and confirmed in the foregoing chapter, unto the use of the Hebrews. Doctrine and use were the apostle's method; and must, at least virtually, be theirs also who regard either sense, or reason, or experience, in their preaching. It would be an uncouth sermon (a sermon lacking good manners) that should be without doctrine and use.” Amen and amen. Would that more pastors today would learn and commit to uses (application) in their preaching. Without application, we make fat brains, weak hearts, and feeble hands. I) Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let each one of us lay aside everything that keeps us from total devotion to Jesus (Hebrews 12:1b). “let us also lay aside every weight.” Calvin clarified, “There are various burdens which delay and impede our spiritual course, such as the love of this present life, the pleasures of the world, the lusts of the flesh, worldly cares, riches also and honors, and other things of this kind.” He is right. Like foolish hikers who load their backpacks with heavy trinkets and complain that the path is hard, are Christians who weigh themselves down with worldly loves and grumble that the Christian life is just too difficult. What are you clinging to that is truly hindering you from living a life of faith for Christ’s glory and your good? Oh how many professed Christians are weighed down by habits or luxuries or commitments or entertainments that keep them from being faithful and fruitful. These weights keep you from glorifying and enjoying God. Dear brothers, do not waste your life weighed down by honorable distractions; make the best use of the time, for the days are evil. Let us also lay aside every weight and take heaven by storm (Matthew 11:12). II) Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let each one of us be killing sin or sin will be encircling us (Hebrews 12:1c). “and sin which clings so closely.” Sin is an enemy so clever that you will be outflanked before you even know what is happening. Sin, like Jael in the book of Judges, provides a nice place for you to lie still, then drives a tent peg through your head when your guard is down. If you do not make it your daily business to put to death your sin and temptations then you are sitting down in the trenches of battle, allowing the enemy to surround you. You may be so weak and immature simply because you do not fight. What sin clings so closely to you? What besetting sins or lazy habits or time-wasting commitments are in fact allowing you to be encircled by sin? Beloved brothers, stand up in the trenches, cast down any weight, cut the throat of sin every day; fire back at the enemy with the Word of God, prayer, meditation, singing, making the best use of the time, self-examination, and serving!Paul urges Timothy, “Keep a close watch on yourself and on your doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:16). III) Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let each one us patiently run the race that God has set before us (Hebrews 12:1d). “and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” The race has been set before us! God determines where and how you run. Through His prophet, the Lord says in Amos 6:1 “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion.” You must not be a spiritual spectator; you must be a spiritual athlete. You are not in the stands or on the couch; you are in the game. Are you seated in the coliseum, watching the other athletes, perhaps even cheering them on? Or are you running the race that God has clearly revealed in the Scriptures that He created and redeemed you to run? “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ). The Christian life is not a sprint that will be over in a few minutes. The Christian life is not a relay that someone else can complete for you. The Christian life is a marathon. You and I have need of patient endurance, and our triune God is the only source of strength. Now, how are you and I going to get the strength to patiently endure to the end? II. YOU AND I MUST CONTINUALLY LOOK TO JESUS IN FAITH SO THAT WE MAY PATIENTLY RUN THE RACE OF THE LIFE OF FAITH (Hebrews 12:2). I) You and I must continually look to Jesus in faith for both salvation and strength (Hebrews 12:2a). “looking to Jesus.” John Owen comments, “The Old Testament believers’ faith is only proposed unto us for our imitation; but Jesus’ person is proposed unto us as a ground also of hope and expectation.” Apart from Jesus you can do nothing, yet all things good you can do in Christ who infuses you with strength (Phil. 4:13; John 15:5). Christ must be the North star your eyes are fixed on; He is true North. If you will not look at Jesus, you will walk in darkness. You and I can learn from other believers, but we must lean on Christ alone! To what or to whom are you looking? On what or on whom are you leaning? There is no salvation nor is there strength in yourself. There is no salvation nor is their strength in any of our Old Testament brothers and sisters. Oh but there is an endless supply of salvation and strength in Christ Jesus, in whom all the fullness of God dwells! II) You and I must continually look to Jesus in faith because He is the Founder and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2b). “the founder and perfecter of our faith.”The Lord Jesus Christ is not only the founder of your faith, buying you back from sin and death by His death and resurrection for your justification (Rom. 4:25); He is not only the founder of your faith, effectually working the grace of faith in you by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:8); He is also the finisher, guarding you by faith for a salvation ready to be revealed the last time (1 Pet. 1:5); He is the finisher, preserving you by His Spirit all the way to your glorification (Rom. 8:29-30). Jesus does not lay the foundation of the house then subcontract the rest of the work out, hoping it will be finished. He is the foundation, He builds the house, He makes His home there, He protects his dwelling. What an assurance producing joy it is to know Jesus is the founder AND finisher of our faith! Oh look at the glorious Jesus who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, not only of the entire universe but also of each particular saint He redeems. Consider Philippians 1:6: “He who began a good work in you (FOUNDER) will bring it to completion (FINISHER).” Are you looking to Jesus in faith, trusting Him as Founder? Are you continually looking to Jesus in faith, trusting Him as Finisher? Weary brother, Christ has paid too high a price in founding your salvation to let you slip through His fingers and remain unfinished. III) You and I must continually look to Jesus in faith, who patiently endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2c). “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” What was the joy? To glorify His Father by redeeming His saints. Therefore, what makes Jesus happy? Forgiving you of your sin and making you part of His family, at great cost to Himself, thereby magnifying the glory of God. Now, the apostle sets this before the eyes of faith not only to incite our love and praise to Jesus, but also to encourage us by Christ’s example. He sets before us Christ’s patient endurance for the joy that was set before Him so that we may learn from our Founder and Finisher how to patiently endure the grueling race of the life of faith that is set before us. John Owen again comments, “The Lord Jesus is not proposed here unto us as a mere example to be considered of by us; but as him also in whom we place our faith, trust, and confidence, with all our expectation of success in our Christian course. Without this faith and trust in him, we shall have no benefit or advantage by his example.” You and I must look to Christ in faith both as Savior and as Example, never leaving one out of the mix, and never getting the order wrong. IV) You and I must continually look to Jesus in faith, who endured the shame He despises for even you (Hebrews 12:2d). “despising the shame.” Does it make you sick to your stomach to feel the shame that comes from sin? Do you hate the shame that comes from your sin against God? Jesus hates it more. Yet He endured the shame, even your shame, believer, on the cross, for the joy that was set before Him! Think about the Lord Jesus Christ having nails driven through His hands and feet, suspended on the wood of the cross, suffocating to death as He hung there naked and exposed. Does it make your stomach turn thinking how shameful and embarrassing that must have been, and how He must have felt bearing our sin? It made Jesus’ stomach turn more. He was the one naked. He was the one mocked. He was the one pierced. He was the one cursed by being hung on a tree. He was the one crushed for our iniquities. Yet He endured the shame of the cross, for the joy that was set before Him. Beloved brothers, if you continually look to Jesus in faith, who endured the shame He despised for your sake, you will be able to endure any shameful treatment that comes upon you on account of His name. Now look at the end of verse 2, where the Apostle gets our eyes not only up to Jesus but to where Jesus is seated in glory. V) You and I must continually look to Jesus in faith, remembering that He speaks from heaven as Prophet; He pleads His wounds as Priest; and He holds the scepter as King (Hebrews 12:2e). “and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” This is where the race ends for us. In glory. Reigning with Christ forever. All hail the power of Jesus’ name.

A COMPARISON OF THE FOUR MAJOR ESCHATOLOGICAL VIEWS: Postmillennialism, Amillennialism, Premillennia

October 17, 2022 • Brett Baggett

What is Eschatology? Eschatology is the study of the last things. By last things we mean the rapture of the Church, the second coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, the glorification of believers’ bodies, the judgement, heaven, hell, the new heavens and new earth, the eternal state of everyone who has ever lived, etc. There has been much agreement by all Christians in all ages concerning eschatology, but there are differing views concerning some of the particulars. The most disagreed upon particulars of eschatology are the timing of second coming of Christ, as well as the thousand year reign of the saints with Christ that is mentioned in Revelation 20.   We are not going to evaluate all of the agreed upon points of doctrine concerning eschatology, but rather the disagreed upon points. Therefore let me say this at the outset: please do not lose sight of the agreement that Christians have as we evaluate the disagreements. Jesus will return; unrepentant sinners will be damned for eternity in hell; saints will be glorified and live forever with Jesus and like Jesus, enjoying the beauties of God’s excellencies for all eternity in supreme holiness and happiness. On these points all true believers agree. I. THE FOUR MAJOR VIEWS. The four major eschatological views are known as Dispensational Premillennialism, Historic Premillennialism, Amillennialism, and Postmillennialism. These are so named based on when they think the second-coming of Christ will happen. Will the second coming happen after the millennium? or before the millennium? or is the thousand year reign figurative rather than literal? II. THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST. Every Christian believes Christ will come again. This is a core tenet of the faith. The apostle to the Hebrews says, “So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him” (Heb. 9:28). He will return to judge the living and the dead, and to save those who eagerly wait for Him. Dispensational Premillennialists, as well as Historic Premillennialists, believe the second coming will happen before a literal millennium. Amillennialists and Postmillennialists believe the second coming of Christ will happen after the millennium, though some think the thousand years is literal and some metaphorical. III. THE RAPTURE. You cannot believe the Bible without believing in the rapture of the church. The question is not “if” the rapture is real or made up, but “what” is meant by God through Paul. The main text for the doctrine of the rapture is found in Paul’s first letter to the church at Thessalonica. “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:13-18). The words “caught up” is where we get the word “rapture.” It is in the Bible. We have to deal with it, not just dismiss it because of bad interpretations.    I) Some believe there will be a Rapture of the Church before a literal 7 year period known as the Great Tribulation (Pre-trib Rapture), followed by a literal 1,000 year reign with Christ physically on earth. Dispensationalists believe this.    II) Others believe there will be a Rapture of the Church after a literal 7 year period known as the Great Tribulation (Post-trib Rapture), followed by a literal 1,000 year reign with Christ physically on earth. Historic Premillennialists believe this. Some also believe there is a Rapture Mid-Trib.   III) Still others believe that this Rapture spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 4 is about believers being caught up with Him in the clouds so that, like a royal procession with Christ returning to judge, we get to all, both living and dead, come with Him to the earth. Amillennialists and Postmillennialists believe this.    The ESV Study Bible is worth quoting at length here: “The Greek term apantēsis (translated “to meet”) is often used of an important dignitary’s reception by the inhabitants of a city, who come out to greet and welcome their honored guest with fanfare and celebration, then accompany him into the city (cf. Matt. 25:6; Acts 18:15; a related [Greek] term hypantēsis is used in Matt. 25:1; John 12:13). It may indicate that the subsequent movement of the saints after meeting Christ “in the air” conforms to Christ’s direction, thus in a downward motion toward the earth“ (The ESV Study Bible notes on 1 Thessalonians 4, Crossway).  IV. THE GREAT TRIBULATION. “I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14). “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be” (Matthew 24:21).   I) Dispensational Premillennialists believe the great tribulation will happen after the church is raptured.   II) Historic Premillennialists believe the great tribulation will happen before the church is raptured.   III) Most Amillennialists believe the great tribulation either already happened or it is a symbol of the continual suffering of the church in this age.   IV) Most Postmillennialists believe the great tribulation already happened, pre 70 A.D. and had to do with Christ using Rome to destroy the Temple and raze the city of Jerusalem. V. ANTI-CHRIST / BEAST / MAN OF LAWLESSNESS.  As far as the word antichrist is concerned, the apostle John uses the word antichrist four times in 1 and 2 John.    I) Some believe the Beast of the Revelation and the Man of Lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2 is a future figure who will arise (he is named Nicolai Carpathia in the Left Behind series). See 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12.   II) Others believe the Beast of the Revelation and the Man of Lawlessness is the Roman Emperor Nero in the First Century. See Revelation 13:18.   III) Still others believe the Beast of the Revelation is the Roman Emperor Nero, but the Man of Lawlessness may be Satan or a took of Satan in Revelation 20:7. See Revelation 20:7-10. VI. THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST. The book of the Revelation opens like this: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near” (Rev. 1:1-3). There are basically four views concerning the Revelation made to John while he was on the island of Patmos.  I) Some have a Futurist view of the Revelation. Futurists believe most events in the Revelation have not yet happened but will happen in the future. Premillennial Dispensationalists and some Historic Premillennialists.   II) Some have a Historicist view of the Revelation. Historicists believe the Revelation is gradually fulfilled in history from the time of John and until the 2nd coming of Christ. Some Historic Premillennialists, some Amillennialists, and some Postmillennialists.   III) Some have an Idealist view of the Revelation. Idealists believe the events in the Revelation are not tied to specific historical events, but represent by symbolism the constant struggle between good and evil. Some Amillennialists, and some Postmillennialists.   IV) Some have a Preterist view of the Revelation Full Preterists believe the events in the Revelation have already taken place. Few Amillennialists, and few Postmillennialists.    V) Some have a Partial-Preterist view of the Revelation. Partial Preterists believe most of the events in the Revelation have already taken place, primarily with the exception of the second half of Revelation 20 through Revelation 22. Some Amillennialists, and most Postmillennialists. VII. THE OLIVET DISCOURSE. I) Futurism. Olivet Discourse Futurists believe the whole of what Christ promises in the Olivet Discourse is has to take place.   II) Futurism with Double Intention. Olivet Discourse Futurists who believe there is double-intention in Christ’s teaching believe some of the promises were partly fulfilled in the first century (A.D. 70), but the main fulfillment has yet to take place.    III) Preterism. Olivet Discourse Preterists believe that the whole of what Christ promises in the Olivet Discourse took place in the first century with the destruction of Jerusalem.    IV) Partial-Preterism. Olivet Discourse Partial-Preterists believe that the first half of the discourse was fulfilled in the first century (A.D. 70), but in the second half Christ is talking about His second coming, with the switch happening at Matthew 24:36.   It is worth noting that Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record versions of the Olivet Discourse. John does not in his gospel account. Why not? This may be because the Olivet Discourse is about the Destruction of the Temple and the 2nd Coming of Christ, which is what the Revelation is also about. Therefore John did write about the destruction of Israel and the second coming, he just did it in much larger fashion, through the last book of our Bible. VIII. HISTORICAL OUTLOOK.  Dispensational Premillennialism and Historical Premillennial are both historically pessimistic in the sense that they believe society will get worse and worse until the second coming of Christ. Amillennialism is historically neutralistic, with some leaning more pessimistic and others optimistic. Postmillennialism is historically optimistic in the sense that they believe the great commission will be fulfilled; that Christ will eventually conquer the nations by His Spirit, through His Church, with His gospel. IX. FIGURES IN CHURCH HISTORY.  Who is on team Dispensational? No one who is truly a Dispensationalists is worth listening to. Traditional Dispensationalism must be rejected because it sees multiple different ways God saves sinners throughout history, among other things that are simply quite bonkers. However, such faithful men as John MacArthur and Steven Lawson would hold a modified version of Premillennial Dispensationalism, but it is much closer to Historic Premillennialism. MacArthur himself calls it, “Leaky Dispensationalism.” These men are worth listening to and are faithful brothers in Christ, though I think they are wrong about some of these points of Eschatology.   Who is on team Premil? Many of the church fathers, John Gill, Charles Spurgeon (maybe), Francis Schaeffer, John Piper, Albert Mohler.   Who is on team Amil? Augustine, John Calvin (maybe), A.W. Pink, J.I. Packer, Kim Riddlebarger, Voddie Baucham, and a majority of Confessionally Reformed believers today.   Who is on team Postmil? John Calvin (maybe), Ulrich Zwinli, Martin Bucer, William Perkins, John Owen, Richard Sibbes, Thomas Manton, John Flavel, John Cotton, John Eliot (American Puritan), Wilhelmus Á Brakel, Isaac Watts, Jonathan Edwards, Andrew Fuller, William Carrey (fathers of the modern missions movement), B.B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, Greg Bahnsen, and me (not that I matter).   In addition, most of the English Puritans and Scottish Covenanters of the 16th and 17th centuries were either Postmil or optimistic Amil. This is most evident by the Westminster Larger Catechism and the Savoy Declaration. X. RECOMMENDED READING FOR INTRODUCTIONS TO THESE POSITIONS.  For Premillennial Dispensationalism I recommend reading “Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth” by John Gerstner; for Historic Premillennialism, “Amillennialism and the Age to Come” by Matt Waymeyer; for Amillennialism, “A Case for Amillennialism” by Kim Riddlebarger; and for Postmillennialism, both “Victory in Jesus” by Greg Bahnsen and “The Puritan Hope” by Ian Murray.

THE ALPHA OF THE REVELATION: Revelation 1

October 24, 2022 • Brett Baggett • Revelation 1

INTRODUCTION. What do you think about when the book of Revelation is mentioned? Do you think of clarity or obscurity? In his book Victory in Jesus, Dr. Greg Bahnsen writes, “The title of the book is called Revelation. The Greek word for revelation is “apocalypses” which means “unveiling,” or “pulling back the veil.” The sad fact is that many Christians look upon the book of Revelation not as a pulling back of the veil so that we might see the truth, but rather as God pulling the veil together and obscuring it so that we will not be able to see clearly. As a result, we are confused and there is all this controversy. We should, however, take heart just from the title of the book itself—it is the unveiling. God says if you want to know what this is all about, if you want to know where things are going, then let Me pull the curtain back for you. This is the revelation, not the obscuring; not the closing of the veil, but the opening of the veil so that we might be able to understand what God intends to do. He does not want to blind us in our outlook and our attitudes; He wants to open our eyes so that we can see.“ Amen. Let us approach the Revelation expecting God to help us understand what this unveiling reveals for our good and His glory.  DOCTRINE. Because Christ loves us, He wants His slaves to know what He is doing in history, so that we may not lose heart and obey His commands despite the seeming odds. OUTLINE. In chapter one we have the recipients, purpose, promise, Alpha, and outline of the revelation of Jesus Christ. Consider each of these with me in turn.  I. THE ORIGINAL RECIPIENTS OF THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST. “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. . . John to the seven churches that are in Asia: . . . I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea” (Revelation 1:1-2, 4, 9-11). The original recipients are the seven churches in Asia. Each of them also has a specific portion of this book dedicated just to them (ch. 2-3).  II. THE PURPOSE OF THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST. “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near” (Rev. 1:1-3). PURPOSE 1. To reveal Jesus Christ. “The revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1a). Think of the titles of the Lord Jesus Christ in the book of the Revelation: The Faithful Witness (Rev 1:5); The Firstborn of the Dead (Rev 1:5); The Ruler of the Kings on Earth (Rev 1:5); The Lord God (Rev 1:8); The Almighty (Rev 1:8); The Alpha and Omega (Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13); The First and the Last (Rev 1:17b; 2:8; 22:13); The Living One (Rev 1:17b); The Faithful and True Witness (Rev 3:14b); The Amen (Rev 3:14b); The Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5); The Root of David (Rev 5:5; 22:16); The Lamb (Rev 5:6, 8, 12, 13; 6:1, 16; 7:9, 10, 14, 17; 12:11; 13:8, 11; 14:1, 4 (twice), 10; 15:3; 17:14 (twice); 19:7, 9; 21:14, 22, 23; 22:1, 3); The King of Nations (Rev 15:3); The Shepherd (Rev 17:7); The King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev 17:14a; 19:16); The Faithful and True (Rev 19:11); The Word of God (Rev 19:13); The Husband (Rev 21:2); The Beginning and End (Rev 21:6, 13); The Lamp (Rev 21:23); The Bright Morning Star (Rev 22:16); The Offspring of David (Rev 22:16).    Think of a few other definitions of the Lord Jesus Christ in the book of the Revelation: He the Son of Man in the midst of the lampstands, which are His churches (Rev. 1:13-16); He holds the seven stars in his hands, and walks among the seven golden lampstands (Rev. 2:1); The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lamb standing, as though it had been slain (Rev. 5:6). One of the main purposes of the revelation of Jesus Christ is to reveal Jesus Christ. Do not miss out on this by getting bogged down in what is difficult in this book. PURPOSE 2. To prepare the slaves of Jesus Christ. “…which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw” (Rev. 1:1b-2). PURPOSE 3. To bless the slaves of Jesus Christ. “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near” (Rev. 1:3). You need to Read. You need to Hear. You need to Keep. (i) The blessing is an increase of grace and peace from our triune God. “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:4-5a). (ii) The blessing of an increase of grace and peace from our triune God comes through the Mediator, Christ Jesus, who is Prophet, Priest, and King. “Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth” (Rev. 1:5a).  PURPOSE 4. To result in worship both now and forever. “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Rev. 1:5b-6). Are you depressed or self-pitying? Look who loves you, believer. Are you feeling guilty over past sin? Look who freed you from the penalty of your sins by His blood. Are you a new creation, no longer loving the sins you used to but loving righteousness? Look who freed you from the power of sin by His blood. Are you feeling unworthy? Look who made you a priest. Are you feeling insignificant? Look who put you in His kingdom, to ascribe glory and dominion to Him. Consider all these great truths and worship both now and forever.  III. THE PROMISE OF THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST. “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth (or land) will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty’” (Rev. 1:7-8). The promise of the revelation of Jesus Christ is judgement on the enemies of God.  IV. THE ALPHA OF THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST. “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.    When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades“ (Rev. 1:12-18). O the beauties and excellencies of Christ! Look at the Alpha of the Revelation, the preeminent one, and take heart, men. This is your Prophet. This is your Priest. This is your King. You are His and He is yours. What can man do to you?  However we should make sure we do not miss what God is doing here: This magnificent revelation of the glorious and powerful Jesus begins by showing us that He is in the midst of the lampstands. These lampstands represent His churches! The Alpha of the universe is the Head of the church. In Ephesians 1:15-22, Paul writes, “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Are you weak? Look to your Head, Jesus Christ! He is strong.  V. THE OUTLINE OF THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST. “Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches” (Rev. 1:19-20).   Concerning the outline of the Revelation, Greg Bahnsen wrote, “The book of Revelation has its own outline. You know the old saying, “when all else fails, read the instructions.” Well, if we are having trouble understanding the book of Revelation, then we have not been paying attention to it since the book of Revelation has its own interpretive guide built right into it; we see it in Revelation 1:19.”    In verse 19, Christ tells John, and us by implication, how to rightly divide this Revelation. The first things in the book of the Revelation are, “the things that [John has] seen” (v. 19a), which is what we have in Chapter 1. The second things in the book of the Revelation are “those that are” currently (v. 19b), which is what we have in Chapter’s 2-3. Now, some think that these 7 churches represent the different stages in church history. I am unconvinced of this. This argument cannot be made from Scripture, but seems forced upon the text. The third things in the book of the Revelation are the things that are “to take place after this” (v. 19c), which is what we have in Chapter’s 4-22. Chapter 4 even begins with “After this.” Chapter’s 4-5 introduce the things that will take place after this; Chapters 6-12 highlight the judgement on and destruction of Jerusalem; Chapters 13-18 highlight the judgement on and destruction of the Roman Empire; Chapter 19 shows the bride’s enjoyment of her relationship to her Husband, as well as Christ riding on His white horse to conquer the nations through the preaching of the Word of God (as had been introduced in chapter 6). The first half of chapter 20 deals with the binding of satan (with reference to deceiving the nations), and subsequently the saints then reigning with Christ for a thousand years. Halfway through chapter 20 until the end of 22, we have what is like the Postscript of the Revelation. John sees the second coming of Christ, followed by the great white throne judgement. Then in chapter’s 21 and 22 we have the perfection of the eternal state where believers dwell with Christ in the new heavens and the new earth for all eternity.    The Revelation then ends with reminding the readers of many of things that had been mentioned at the beginning. Why is this important to understand? Because many today divide the Revelation up into 7 parts, and some even into 10 parts. I think it is much simpler than that. I am most convinced from the Scriptures of the three divisions that Bahnsen points out. CONCLUSION. So there you have it. In the first chapter we have the recipients, the purpose, the promise, the Alpha, and the outline of the revelation of Jesus Christ. Let me remind you of the doctrine: Because Christ loves us, He wants His slaves to know what He is doing in history, so that we may not lose heart and obey His commands despite the seeming odds. Whatever your position the revelation of Jesus Christ, as you read it, keep your eyes fixed on the Alpha, the Lord Jesus Christ! He wins and we win with Him. In Him, we can all take great comfort. In Him, we can all press on for His glory in faith.

THE ALMIGHTY OF THE REVELATION: Revelation 4

October 24, 2022 • Brett Baggett • Revelation 4

THE LAMB OF THE REVELATION: Revelation 5

November 7, 2022 • Brett Baggett • Revelation 5

THE CONQUEROR OF THE REVELATION: Revelation 6:1-2

November 14, 2022 • Brett Baggett • Revelation 6:1–2

THE RIDER OF THE REVELATION: Revelation 19:11-16

November 28, 2022 • Brett Baggett • Revelation 19:11–16